CV for Lars Wirzenius

Lars Wirzenius
(Other contact information available on request.)


I am a computer programmer, since 1984. I am an expert in the Linux environment, and have developed free and open source software for decades. I develop software at all levels, from architectural design down to writing even the lowest level of the code.

I am a Finnish citizen, and communicate fluently in Finnish, Swedish, and English. I also know a smidgen of German.

Stuff I know very well:

  • The Python language. I've used Python since 1993, and most of my new code in the past decade has been written in Python.
  • The C language. I've used C since 1987, mainly in various Unix-like environments, though originally on 8086 under MS-DOS, plus a little bit of embedded development. (I don't know much C++.)
  • Linux in general, and the Debian distribution in particular.

My current hobby project is ick, (, a continuous integration and deployment engine, currently in the alpha stage.

Experience and training

Wikimedia Foundation: Senior software engineer in the Release Engineering team.

QvarnLabs Ab 2016-2018. Co-founder, CTO and architect. QvarnLabs produces Qvarn and Qvisqve, which provide access-controlled storage of structured data for privacy sensitive applications (cf. GDPR), and authentication for HTTP APIs (OAuth2). Both are open source software.

Suomen Tilaajavastuu 2014-2016. Architect, web services backend (Qvarn).

Codethink 2011-2014. I served in a variety of roles, including technical lead, architect, and developer, for Baserock, a new way of building and developing embedded and appliance Linux systems. Baserock is open source.

Consultant 2005-2011. I've worked on variety of projects for several clients, mainly on open source projects, such as Debian. In 2005-2006 I was under contract to improve the technical quality of the Debian Linux distribution, and as part of that work developed piuparts, a package testing tool for checking that packages can be installed, upgraded, and removed without problems. Piuparts is open source. I also analysed bug reports and fixed bugs.

In 2007-2009 I contracted to Canonical, Ltd. to develop Ubuntu.

In 2010 I contracted to Catalyst, Ltd, in New Zealand, to work on Koha, an open source integrated library management system. I helped with automated testing, and made Debian packages of the software.

Collabora Ltd 2011 I helped a client package some of their internal things for MeeGo. Was let go because client decided to not do MeeGo stuff anymore.

Branchable 2010-current. This is a blog/wiki/website hosting service built on top of ikiwiki, together with Joey Hess. The entire stack is open source. This is a side project.

Obnam 2006-2017. I wrote a backup application and attempted to start a business providing backup services. The business didn't succeed, but I maintained the software as a hobby until 2017.

Oliotalo 2002-2004. Oliotalo developed applications for machine to machine communication and telemetry ("IoT" is the modern term): embedded computers are attached to vehicles, waste collectors, or other such machines, get data from various sensors, and communicate wirelessly with a server. I designed and co-implemented the embedded Lisp interpreter, Hedgehog, with which the embedded computers were programmed in Oliotalo projects. Hedgehog was released as open source, but its website no longer exists., 2001-2011 A shell-server ISP on the side.

Akumiitti Telematics / Keko Technologies 2001-2002. Keko developed a platform for machine to machine communication. I designed and implemented the client-side embedded application platform.

Wapit Ltd 1999-2001. I was project and team leader, and chief architect for the Kannel SMS and WAP gateway. Kannel is an open source, multithreaded, multiprocess server that can handle high traffic loads. I was responsible for architectural design, implementation, and project management. Wapit went bankrupt, but Kannel is still in commercial and uncommercial production use worldwide.

Helsinki University of Technology / CS laboratory / [HiBase project] 1997-1999. HiBase was a research project to develop a main memory database and functional programming language. I wrote C code and did some Linux system administration. HiBase was released as open source.

University of Helsinki / Department of Computer Science 1993-1996. I was a teaching assistant, helping students with homework and checking their answers. I gave one full course on C programming.

University of Helsinki / Department of Computer Science 1988-2002. Student, part-time studies from 1993 onwards on account of working full time. Not graduated.

Selected writing